Groupthink: Design my rig! Signal flow with these components?

I’m redoing my rig from a DJ coffin to a Temple 43 in a Pelican Case.



I’d appreciate your input, as you might have an idea I haven’t thought of!

I already have a plan, and it’s loosely hooked up at the moment, but I thought it would be somewhat fun to solicit your brains for how audio and midi is getting routed. I’m going to NOT state my plan so I don’t influence you all. However, I am going to state that I don’t sequence anything external with the Octatrack, but I like the clock coming from the OT. All sequencing is done on device, or with the Torso T1, and the type of music I do is mid-tempo trip hop with an ambient electronic jazz edge to it.

Audio signal path and midi signal path? What would you do with these components? Ignore the pics somewhat, as some things are changing from what’s there.

Sound Sources

  • Octatrack
  • Digitakt
  • Syntakt
  • Nord Drum 3P (optional to drop)


  • Torso T1 (sequencer / controller)
  • FaderFox UC4


  • Mood MKII (stereo)
  • Kinotone Ribbons (stereo)


  • BoredBrain Terminal ( 4 channel half-normalled stereo/mono TRS patchbay) (optional to drop)
  • Blokas MidiHub (4in/4out midi effects processor and routing. Very versatile)


  • Stereo Matrise (4 stereo in/4 stereo out matrix mixer)
  • Stereo DI final output

Power for everything

  • CIOKS DC7 and 8 Expander
  • USB Powered hub

The Borg are calculating… we will have the answer soon.


No advice to offer but I’ve been planning around setting up Trio 28 for my live rig and this pretty much confirms that I am on the right track so thanks!

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Alright, took me a while, but I think I got it all set up in a just the way were it’ll be extremely useful, and maximize the efx pedals.

No need to thank me. I’m always happy to help.
Red is power
Orange is audio?
Green are…arrows?
Blue, now blue is for sure USB/CC messages.
Naturally you’re going to want to run all those cable underneath.

Ah damnit, that was the old rig! Alright I’m going to need some more time.


How do you like the wireless setup in the second picture?



I guess Midi-Routing is fairly obvious (Torso, OT and UC4 into Midihub, Outputs to sound sources, and through to effects), that gives you a lot of flexibility with different presets in the Midihub.

The challenge with audio routing is that your gear does impose limitations, so you’d have to decide what your aim is: resampling, looping, creative use of FX (pedals, OT FX, ST FX channel?), Do you want compression on the end result (OT master track compressor) or not, do you need a master volume control, do you need all 8 audio tracks on the OT for samples/streaming?

I’d probably add a second or even third Terminal, so that you can re-configure the setup as needed on the fly, e.g. configure the Matrise, select what your master out is, patch the Ribbons into it etc.

With that kind of flexibility, you can have a setup for composing that is radically different from the setup you use for performing.

Another option is the Patchulator, patching is more tidy with small stereo cables, however it has no preset routing, and I have no idea if it’s possible to have a small enough footprint in the case with cables on all 8 sides.

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This is why I made this post! These are the questions I’m asking… and I do a little of all of the above, but not necessarily in the each performance.

Which leads me to…

The footprint of the Patchulator turned me off for a bit, but I think I’m going to have a little wiggle room on the new rig. Thanks for bringing it back in my brain!

Hosa used to make a small 8-point patchbay that was more traditionally organized front-and-back:

Not sure if it’s available anymore but might be worth a look!

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I checked this last week, Sweetwater and Perfect Circuit have it in stock, it costs the same as the Terminal v2 ($100)

An alternative is the Art Tpatch, looks like the Hosa, but switchable and a little more than half the price, ($60)

So maybe you need one of those:

  • DF Audio Patchwork $150, 12xTRS 1/4" on the back, 24xTS 1/8" on top (upper image)
  • DF Audio Minibay $210, has dedicated FX inputs, default routing (switchable for each channel) and summing (lower image)

Both in stock at perfect circuit.

The sockets on the Minibay might be too close together for angled cables though, maybe adding 2-3" to the footprint, but the footprint might still be similar to 3 Terminals, and and gives you more flexibility (but no split).

You’d still have to figure out the most convenient way to set this up for your use case, but it is only one stereo pair short for patching all your outputs ( 11x stereo) and inputs (10x stereo), and you do have a matrix mixer, so that won’t lose you any flexibility.

I’ve seen these! I did not realize they were normalled… Great suggestion! Thanks.

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There’s a small panel you can open where you set can normal each input:

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Can you explain what you use the UC4 for? I thought about getting one for controlling levels and macros on my OT and DT, but maybe you have a more interesting use case. And how do you like the setup on the device? Is it tedious?


  • I got it because it’s all done on-board. I think it’s fairly easy to learn. It has copy/paste functions, which is very needed for Elektron boxes since you use similar CCs just on different midi channels.

I do like it. I find it’s my catch-all fixer tool. Using it with the Blokas, I can create some really cool macro-effects across multiple devices. For example, one knob, can filter 4 tracks of Syntakt while also increasing the delay send of 2 tracks of Octatrack.

Other normal uses for me:

  • Page with all OT LP filters right there on 8 knobs.
  • I do an LFO to SLICE thing with sampling, and I put the the speed on a page of faders, rec arm on the buttons.
  • Turning on and off Blokas effect pipes.
  • Basically anything I find myself fiddling quickly with pages on an Elektron box, I put on a few knobs in one place on the UC4

My only problem I have with it is me… if I haven’t used some page of it in awhile, I have to re-teach myself what I did. As a result, I tend to have to pull out the Blokas editor sometimes to read what I did for certain macros. I’ve thought about replacing it with the EC4 just for the fact that you can label things, but the EC4 doesn’t have the same push encoders that are worth using (you can’t program each push to do something different like you can with the UC4).

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That’s a nice idea, I wish I had a controller where I could set that up inside the device, i.e. without programming the Midihub. But that appears to be a rare thing, not even the the Electra One can do that. The Shik N32b can send two controllers per knob, but you can’t define a range, Peavey PC1600 can send up to 16 (with ranges, but each one blocks a physical slider), and the Control Freak can send up to 15 controllers per fader, but again without range, which is rather useless.

The next thing I’ll try is TouchOsc (when I find some free time for that), it appears each control can send as many messages as you want. No idea how much of that can be set up on the device, tho. I’ll control it with a hardware controller, so I don’t have to use the touch screen.

Thats the nice part about TouchOsc, it can run on an old phone (does not take up too much space), and for my usecase it basically translates knobs to midi messages. Since I can define the GUI, I could add all information I need on the screen. How that works out in practice remains to be seen.

I found that 4 characters are barely enough for editing synths, but for a macro across several devices that is definitely not enough information.

You can set up the EC4’s buttons to send a note on the same channel (note number is controller number), or a controller that is offset by 8 (see manual pg. 8 “Push Functions”). Since you use the Midihub, you can achieve what you want, with some programming.

From what I gather, support for independent setup of the push function will come in the next update (whenever that will arrive).

Oh! That’s big news. The UC4 push encoders already do that. If that becomes the same, it makes EC4 more appealing.

I used TouchOSC with Ableton over a decade ago. Great functionality. However, I cant deal with touch screens on stage. I also play sax, and I live in Texas… I’ve had issues with sweat and touch screens that just make me avoid them.

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